Thursday, December 23, 2010

Old School Thursday: Cookies, Coffee & Skate Hash Edition

Today is National Pfeffernuesse Day (pfeffernuesse are these Danish/Dutch/German cookies) – which is fairly appropriate, I guess, since it is Christmas cookie season. Also, today in Mexico is the Night of the Radishes and in Iceland it’s St. Thorlak’s Day.

The radish thing involves carving oversized radishes into elaborate scenes for viewing (why? Not sure) – which might not sound totally appetizing, but at least it’s better than what’s going on in Iceland. For St. Thorak’s Day, people eat a traditional dish of skate hash, which is apparently so gross that it makes all subsequent meals taste great.

Today has some historical significance, too. In 1675, Charles II of England issued a short-lived proclamation suppressing coffee houses. The proclamation’s impetus was to keep people from wasting time (that otherwise might be spent working or doing something constructive) and to limit the potential for political unrest. The government’s perception was that coffee houses were hotbeds of civil unrest…so the king though that banning them would eliminate unrest?

Well, he was wrong. Public response was so negative that Charles II revoked the proclamation just a few weeks after it went into effect, on January 8, 1676. And coffee was had again.
So, to celebrate today? Pfeffernuesse and coffee sound good. Radishes and skate, on the other hand, not so much.

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